The very thought of hosting parties for teens often strikes fear into the hearts of even the most generous parents. Visions of drink, drugs and general debauchery fill their minds, and before they hyperventilate many simply bellow “Not in my house!” Yet with a little planning, a lot of communication and a bit of luck, parties for teens can turn out to be fantastic fun and free from drama!
The next time your teenager considers throwing a party, sit down with him or her and discuss expectations. This is the time to let your teenager know what you consider acceptable and appropriate for a teen party, including:
- The guest list. Once this is agreed, tell your teen that you will not admit any gatecrashers on the night.
- The invitations. Old fashioned paper invitations may be out, but if your teen is using text, email or e-vites, ask that your phone number be listed in case other parents want to check in with you.
- The ground rules. Outlaw alcohol, drugs and tobacco from the moment the party idea is raised. Tell your teen that if any are found, the party will end promptly.
- The location. Discuss with your teenager which rooms in the house they may use for their party, and veto the use of any bedrooms.
- The food. Set up a plan for who will buy and prepare any food that is to be served.
- The chaperones. Remind your teen that you will remain on the premises during the party, and discuss your interaction with guests.
- The curfew. One of the hardest parts of hosting a party is a successful ending. Settle on a closing time for guests to tell their parents.
When the guests have arrived and the music is blaring, it may seem as though a parent’s job is done. Not so! The start of the party simply signals the start of chaperoning. Throughout the party remember to:
Keep all inside doors open so that the party can flow from room to room and it is more natural for you to circulate and keep your eyes open.
Welcome only invited guests.
Tell guests that they are free to leave at any time, but that they can not leave and come back. This will cut down on guests running out to have a smoke or a drink and then expecting to return to the party.
Bring in bowls of crisps or treats and remove used plates, cups and other rubbish as it begins to accumulate.
Keep an eye on the drinks table. Every now and then, help yourself to a little punch to make sure nothing “special” has been added.
Complete a quick tour of the bedrooms every now and then, just in case.
Walk the dog or use any excuse to do a quick circuit outside and around the house, again, just in case.
The Grand Finale
When the magic hour strikes and it is time to see the party guests out, announcing the end of the party is not for the faint hearted. The most clear and direct routes for signalling the end of a party include:
- Putting away all snacks and drinks.
- Turning up the lights.
- Turning off the music or movies.
- Assembling coats in the hallway.
- Announcing that rides are waiting.
- Announcing the next (or last) bus/train.
Hosting parties for teens requires strength, stamina and patience. Many parents prefer to throw them thinking that it is better to have their teens at home where they can seem them, while others understand the lack of night life in their area and compromise with a few parties. Whatever your motivation, throwing parties for teens is no easy feat but like most things in life, once you get one under your belt the rest somehow seem easier!